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What is a Parish Council?

Parish and Town Councils form the first tier of local government. As statutory local authorities, they have powers to provide many services and facilities. They have an element of sovereignty and are not answerable to the other two tiers of Councils in the county (in our case, Wychavon District and Worcestershire County).

Parish Councils are governed by laws which dictate that they may not take a decision to spend money unless the matter is included on the agenda for a Parish Council meeting. They must make decisions in an open, accountable and transparent way. Their accounts are subject to internal and external audit, the results of which must be posted on your notice board.

Each Parish Council is required to set a budget each year. To fund its budget the Parish Council sets a precept, which is included in your Council tax, for financing the work they undertake in the community on your behalf (more about this in the links to the left). They represent grass roots views, and influence the decisions made by others on the way our communities are shaped and developed.

Your Parish Council has the statutory right to be consulted on planning applications and will also be consulted on community and planning strategies.

The Conduct of Parish Councillors

All Parish and Town Councils are required to adopt a Code of Conduct which individual Councillors must sign up to. This code demands that they must:
  • Declare their interests in a public register
  • Not bring their Council into disrepute
  • Leave the room for discussion on any item in which they have a prejudicial interest

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What Does the Council Do?

The core responsibilities of the Parish Council include:
  • Consultation on planning applications
  • Provision and maintenance of footway lighting throughout the village
  • Grant aid to Parish Church, CAB and other local charities
  • Grass cutting to open spaces and supervising the mowing contract for land owned by the Broadway Trust
  • Consultation with the Highway Partnership Unit (a Wychavon District Council partnership with Worcestershire County Council) over traffic signing, speed limits and other ancillary matters
  • Maintenance of the Recreation area
  • Consultation and leasing of land to Broadway Youth Project and grant aid over Skate Board Park
  • Land drainage in conjunction with the County Council and grant aiding certain projects
  • Consultations over street naming
  • Parish facilities such as 'bus shelters, seats, notice boards
  • Provision and maintenance of trees on Council-owned land and other land by arrangement with Broadway Trust
  • Maintenance of Public Rights of Way (PROW)
  • Represent the interests of residents on appropriate matters
  • Maintaining the Village Green and managing the booking systems for the Broadway Trust
  • Maintaining the ‘Swings 'n' things’ play area
  • Maintaining seating benches and picnic tables

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What Else Does the Council Do?

Other matters currently being dealt with by the Parish Council include:
  • Drafting and implementing new bye-laws
  • A consultation with the Highways Authority on possible weight restriction on High Street
  • Running the new Parish Office in Russell Square with a part time- time staff of two officers
  • Conducting regular Parish Council meetings and an annual Parish Meeting
  • Representations with Aquila on power supply
  • Instigating and fund raising for new CCTV project for Broadway to improve security and aid crime prevention

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Funding the Council: Your Money

Broadway Parish is funded almost entirely through what is called a Parish Precept. This is a charge that makes up part of the Council Tax for residents of Broadway, alongside the charges levied by Wychavon District Council, Worcestershire County Council, West Mercia Police Authority and Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority. Our portion of your council tax is typically about 3% of your overall bill.

In 2005-06, our total overall budget is £55,000. To put this in context, this is equivalent to about 50p per day for every resident of the village. For that, we have to pay for everything we do: everything from the street lights, benches and bus shelters in the village, to keeping the verges mown and trees tidy, to maintaining Public Rights of Way in the Parish. You can find more information about our responsibilities in the links to the left.

Some headline figures for you, though, from 2004. Did you know that...
  • Broadway villagers pay for the lights in the village, including their running costs and repairing/replacing them when needed... nearly £5,000 in 2003 with over £2,000 in electricity alone
  • Villagers pay nearly £4,500 a year to mow all the grass verges
  • Village taxes provide financial support to several local charities and worthy causes: 2003 provided nearly £2,000 to such groups as the Citizen's Advice Bureau, the Tourist Information Centre, the British Legion and the Vale of Evesham Volunteers
  • In conjunction with the Broadway Trust, residents spent nearly £800 to maintain and replace seats, bus shelters and the village clock and another £1,000 on tree surgery in the village

This is your money, your council, your village. You fund us for the good of the community: think what things would be like if the grass went uncut, the footpaths became overgrown, the streetlights went out and weren't relit.

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